First Great Western’s Volo TV oversteps the mark and invades my personal space
**WED MAY 12th UPDATE**
As a result of our feedback and this post, Paul Soor, MD of Volo TV contacted me today to tell me that the company is abandoning the ‘can’t switch it off’ policy that I complained about in this post. The reprogramming will take 1 – 2 days but Paul assures me that it is definitely going ahead.
He has also invited me to stop by the office to discuss my feedback and to try out the system for free on my trip to Plymouth tomorrow.
Paul’s getting in touch is an example of good social media monitoring and a willingness to hear and act on feedback -to his and the company’s credit.
Introducing ‘Volo TV’, a personal TV built into the back of the seat in front of you on the train. A nice idea? Well, no.
With more and more of us owning portable media players loaded with all the content we want, this screen-in-the-back-of-the-seat idea with it’s £3.50 per trip monetisation model misses the…ah, train.
Everything about it is unwanted and unwelcome. And it’s way too close to my face, leaving me feeling claustrophobic and trapped. Worse yet, it’s also permanently on. ‘Since this TV replaces the Safety Card’ says the touch-screen blurb ‘it is not possible to switch the screen off’. Unbelievable. So it sits there, running through its promotional videos and pumping out heat – and there’s nothing you can do to avoid it. Well, almost nothing. The woman in front of me had hung her coat over her screen. Good idea. A quick scan up and down the packed carriage showed nobody watching their VoloTV.
Currently, there’s no advertising – but it IS on its way, and judging by the complete lack of paying punters on our journey today, you’ll be seeing it pretty damn soon. So that’s advertising pumping out of a screen you can’t switch off 8 inches from your face? No f*****g way, First Great Western!
Few things create such a universal and instantly negative reaction as Volo TV did today – and that fact alone marks it out as a stunningly bad move. In fact the invasion of my personal space was so unpleasant that I found myself wanting to break the screen.
Instead, my colleagues and I staged a peaceful protest, sticking king sized post-it notes over the screens and leaving First Great Western in no doubt whatsoever as to our feelings.